March 5, 2005

Sure Gonna Miss Him

Hunter Thompson Considered

Funny. As skeptical as I am about everything, and as many times as I've been through the process, I still believe the stories the first time I hear them. When I heard about Hunter Thompson's apparent suicide, I guess I reacted like most other people who liked him: How sad! The loss of a unique and powerful voice in American life. But he killed himself, they say. So if it was a choice he made, then I honor that choice, and I am less sad ... than I might be.

Looking back I can see in myself an effort made subtly and subconsciously to push out any thoughts that there was anything sinister involved, anything wrong with the official story. Surely this was only yet one more violent death of a person who could coincidentally be an irritant to the fascist power structure, if not an actual danger.

Maybe it's just a natural tendency to block out any things that complicate the situation and distract from one's central objectives. I did not want to think about Thompson's death and whether or not it might not be a suicide. Then I started hearing one thing after another, after another, to the point that I began to question my starting premise. Why should I start from the presumption that the "apparent suicide" was in fact an actual suicide. What if we looked at it from a neutral position, like a homicide detective? What if the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted?

The question is there whenever a person dies a violent death. Suicide is presumed without the emergence of a strong case for murder. But as the default position, it is not always correct, even if the truth cannot be proven. It starts with a hypothesis.

Well, what if?

The Thompson interview played on Democracy Now dropped a couple of disturbing hints. First, he minces no words about his passionate opposition to the war machine. "We’re defending freedom? We'll fight to the death for freedom? That's absurd. This country is no more a capital or bastion of freedom now than Nazi Germany was in the 1940s. This country is a rogue nation in a way, but worse than a rogue nation. We're a war-crazy, war-dependent, really, nation and that leads right to the oil industry. It is ridiculous. And particularly in the media; with the media I noticed. To not discuss the connection between oil and bombs in Iraq is disgraceful. Winston Churchill said, 'In times of war, the first casualty is always the truth.' Truth is the first casualty of any war."

It was two years ago, January 2003, and Thompson was going to New York to "stir up trouble. I'm not going to change hats, yeah, Saturday in the park, Sunday in New York City, Monday night, Conan O’Brian, or something like that. I just believe in this. I'm offended and insulted by the slope of the American people, and that means us. That means these bastards who just sit around – "

Bush, he said, "should be run out of office. He should resign right now, in my opinion. I did call for his resignation, but I don't think we would have a groundswell immediately for that. There will be a lot of people who agree with me."

Thompson is powerful. He was knowledgeable and gifted as an analyst and writer. He was gutsy and not afraid to tell the truth even if it required him to jump outside the framework of proper journalism. Besides all that, he now has a reputation as a Great Living Writer, which could carry some serious cache, especially in a situation in which the population may be on the verge of a change of heart, of view. Someone like Thompson, who is not afraid to see it and say it could be very dangerous.

He predicted it himself in the interview with Mary Suma played on Democracy Now. First check out what he says about Iraq, but pay special attention to what he says after that: "I don't really know Iraq. I made a point of getting to know it a lot better. It was a very advanced, progressive country, had, what, 90% literacy, health care for the whole entire population. They were doing well, prosperous, high literacy. Many more book stores per capita in Iraq than there are in this country. Many. No more. We bombed their children. We killed their husbands and wives and we bombed them, and we saw her, and we're going to do it again. Just random killing like that, mass killing to force a population to get rid of Saddam so we can move in and take over and control the oil, God damn it, if that's not evil, I don't know what would be. You know, Bush, he’s really the evil one in here. Well, more than just him. We're the Nazis in this game, and I don't like it. I'm embarrassed and I'm pissed off. Yeah. I mean to say something and I think a lot of people in this country agree with me. A lot more never say anything. We'll see what happens to me if I get my head cut off in the next week by -- it's always unknown Bush [inaudible] strangers who commit suicide right afterward. No witnesses. They have a new kind of crime." Mary Suma asked: "Is that the CIA kind of crime?" Thompson answers: "Oh, absolutely. Anyone who’s a successful criminal has got a crime. Absolutely no witnesses, no records. We can go on and on. I have to be restrained on the subject."

Funny that he predicted his own assassination. What a coincidence! It's also a great coincidence how many voices that oppose the war machine are silenced by violent death. It's always just random killing, no reason, weird mishaps, plane crashes. Funny how many more of the liberal side die these violent random deaths than the side that advocates and wages war. What connection could there possibly between war and murder? Murder on the homefront. The war machine turns inward. Homeland security. Centralization of power. Loss of human rights and due process of law.

John Judge wrote a realistic historical study of the use of assassination by the Nazis. In the Weimar Republic in the years leading up to the takeover of Germany by the Nazis, there were many killings that were recognized as assassinations, but the perpetrators were never found. Judge makes a compelling case that what we are seeing is a broad program of neutralization of live wires who could potentially catalyze a spirit of rebellion. (See Assassination as a Tool of Fascism)

The initial February 21AP report was unequivocal. He shot himself. His own wife and son issued a statement to that effect.

(The obit-style biography in that article is quite good, by the way. The story might be told differently if it were a recognized fact that he was assassinated. But it's a good neutral history.)

Then I started seeing more articles, more research and analysis, gatherings of links, the cybercharged grassroots development of an idea carried on in the public domain, like Linux or MP3 ...

There was an article in The Globe & Mail on February 26, which is hard to get now if you aren't a subscriber, but it said this: "Hunter telephoned me on Feb. 19, the night before his death. He sounded scared. It wasn't always easy to understand what he said, particularly over the phone, he mumbled, yet when there was something he really wanted you to understand, you did. He'd been working on a story about the World Trade Center attacks and had stumbled across what he felt was hard evidence showing the towers had been brought down not by the airplanes that flew into them but by explosive charges set off in their foundations. Now he thought someone was out to stop him publishing it: 'They're gonna make it look like suicide,' he said. 'I know how these bastards think . . .'"

(Though the Globe & Mail article is hard to get, you can read about it at Infowars and Hugo Zoom. The introductory paragraph appears to have been made up, which is a pretty cheap shot because only the first paragraph appears for free. The rest you have to pay for. Kind of like the front page of some of those really crappy tabloids with articles about two-headed alien births that turn out to just be imagined when you get to the jump page. The second paragraph, the paid-for one, says "That's how I imagine a tribute to Hunter S. Thompson should begin. He was indeed working on such a story, but it wasn't what killed him..." So the article goes on to debunk any speculations from the outset. But it affirms that he was working on such a story, which is the important part. If he said he would feel trapped without the option of suicide, it certainly doesn't prove he actually did commit suicide at that moment. Many have said the same and are still here. All this just muddies the waters, obviously.)

He was working on an article about the WTC attacks, apparently. Did he really believe he had "hard evidence showing the towers had been brought down not by the airplanes that flew into them but by explosive charges set off in their foundations"? Hard evidence to verify what the whole world could see with their own eyes, but refused to see that way. Three buildings, not only the two that were hit with jets, imploded exactly the way buildings do when they are knocked down with strategically placed charges. Still, though it looks that way, you need hard evidence to make such a startling leap with its enormous implications.

There was also an interview with Mike O'Regan in August 2002, that shows Thompson pointing the finger at the White House in regard to who would benefit from 9/11, who had the means, motive and opportunity. As in other cases, he expresses restraint in terms of talking about it in public. You can read a partial transcript at Infowars, or a longer one (still censored) or listen to the clip at Libertythink

Can anyone imagine how important it would be to keep the lid on a crime like that? That is, if there really is some kind of complicity among high government officials in the catastrophe of 9/11 in order to create an environment that would be congenial to a militaristic agenda, as stated specifically in the Project for a New American Century papers. Would a power structure that would wage shock-and-awe warfare on an innocent population in Iraq with no logically supportable justification be restrained in its effort to rid itself of all serious opposition with murder if necessary?

Once that particular hole is blown in the official world view of American citizens, the rest could come unraveled. And that is not what the Cheneyites want to see. And in case you haven't noticed, Cheney is not a kind sort.

Neither is Bush, of course. I heard a clip of him this morning on Democracy Now. His hatefulness is becoming more overt. His threatening, swaggering manner is becoming more open as he leaves his Compassionate Conservative disguise far behind. But we're getting off track... The point is, these are very serious people, not at all averse to using violence, all available force, to the point of mass killing to achieve their objectives.

On February 25, the Associated Press tells us that "Thompson shot self while talking with wife". (Or in the Star Tribune version: "Hunter Thompson shot himself while wife listened on phone, she says".)

According to the AP report, "She said her husband had asked her to come home from a health club so they could work on his weekly ESPN column -- but instead of saying goodbye, he set the telephone down and shot himself."

Hey baby, why don't you come home so you can work on my ESPN column with me and excuse me just a minute, I'm going to put down the phone and shoot myself.

According to the article, "Thompson said she heard a loud, muffled noise, but didn't know what had happened. 'I was waiting for him to get back on the phone,' she said. (Her account to Rocky Mountain News reporter Jeff Kass is slightly different: 'I did not hear any bang,' she told Kass. She added that Thompson's son, who was in the house at the time, believed that a book had fallen when he heard the shot, according to Kass' report.)"

We report, you decide. In the context above, Thompson is having a routine conversation with his wife. He is not distressed. Suddenly he puts down the phone. She hears a "muffled noise," she says. She says it's not a "bang". Thompson's son was in the house and thought he heard a book fall.

As the Infowars site suggests, this scenario perfectly fits a killing by a hitman with a silencer. It does not fit a suicide without a good deal of bending.

There is a lot of smearing going on now of Thompson, an orchestra of discrediting going on among the character assassin team of the White House, the payola "journalists". Predictable. Thompson said more damning things about the Bush mob in a paragraph than most "respectable" journalists would in a lifetime.

Here are some more quotes, leads and links on Thompson:

  • In an interview with Marty Beckerman, Thompson said, "The end of the world is not just coming; it's here. Until Bush came in it was still possible to be successful, happy. That was two years ago, but now the wheel is turning and I don't think what we're in now will possibly get any better."
  • One of my favorite Thompson quotes was in his irreverent postmortem of Nixon: "Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism -- which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place." (--Hunter S. Thompson, "He was a crook," Rolling Stone, June 16, '94)
  • More on Thompson, in "The Return of Hunter Thompson"

    March 6, 2005


  • Brenda -- A couple of quick notes on great musical discoveries to pass on. My favorite musician lately is Brenda Fassie, the late South African funk and pop singer -- one of the all-time funkiest and most soulful singers in the world -- amazing stuff. The CD pictured above features her song "Black President" about Nelson Mandela -- God what a song! It rejoices his emergence from jail and his taking of his place as leader of the country, but it was recorded before Mandela was released. "I will sing for my president, I would die for my president..." Wow! How great it must be to have a leader you can feel that much for! That disk also has a priceless duet with Bob Marley on it. An even better and larger collection that also includes "Black President" is Queen of African Pop: Greatest Hits. Brenda was named after Brenda Lee, and started her recording career when she was a teenager. She's in the incomparable zone, one of a very few with pipes and a soul reservoir that can be spoken of in the same breath as the incomparable Aretha Franklin. For more on Brenda, see or News24
  • Uncle Rex -- Much less well known and still living is Uncle Rex, a phenomenal guitarist I discovered in Zambia. His CD Fingerspeech has the power of a cinder block against the forehead. It is a great piece of work. His style spans from delicate fingerpicking, to all-out crying electric lead guitar. He's an amazingly articulate guitarist and his mastery of the guitar palette is comprehensive and authoritative. And he's also the nicest, humblest man you could hope to meet. He's won several African music awards and I suppose the time is coming when he will be known in America, like Antonio Carlos Jobim or Hugh Masekela. But for now he's my secret. (I'll tell you though.)

    March 6, 2005

  • Signs of Life -- Coming back from a week's isolation in strange places, I was happy to see some signs of spirit in various pockets. The New York Times reporting seemed to be a bit spunkier than in recent years. Many of Vermont's cities were passing resolutions to send to Congress to ask them to send their National Guard home so they can protect the homefront as they are designated to do. And there was the lawsuit supported in part by the American Civil Liberties Union against Rumsfeld for his apparent role in directing the military into torture. The ACLU has grown quite large since the Bush attack on civil liberties started a few minutes after the 9/11 attacks started. It's good to see ways that masses of people are directing some of their energies and resources toward making a better world by opposing the agents of destruction in Washington.
  • Cruel and Unusual -- While I was away, I had occasion to find myself on a cruise ship (a strange experience) and some smart librarian had slipped a few excellent Bush critiques into the piles of indistinguishable fiction bestseller hardcover material, trendy business blockbusters, and toxic garbage like Newt Gingrich's new testament. Vanity Fair chief editor Graydon Carter's What We've Lost, Maureen Dowd's Bushworld, and the one I spent the most time on: Mark Crispin Miller's Cruel and Unusual. I was late in picking this up, perhaps a testament to how depressing the whole thing is. But picking it up I was struck once again with Miller's eloquence, really virtuosity in language, coupled with the cogence of his analysis and the breadth of his scholarship on the subjects of politics and media. Miller does such a good job of condensing tons of material into a manageable size, it gives me some confidence that at least there are some recording the real history of the time. The official organs of current history, the news media and the Paper of Record, have abdicated the role of recording actual history, so it must be left to those working in other media. Actually the times does let much of the story be told on its opinion pages, but its news reporting shies from challenges that really should be made to America's elected officials. Anyway, just wanted to quickly mention Miller's book and to recommend it.
  • The War Gravy Train -- Robert Higgs looks at the Bush Defense Budget on the conservative website This site is conservative, but like real conservative in the sense of not liking big government or government interference with the private concerns of its citizens, or not going into deep deficits. The site says "anti state, anti war" on the top, and I'm thinking -- yeah! The idea that societies largely run themselves, they are not run by a bunch of politicians and the less from them the better, an idea diametrically opposed to the Neocons who now control Washington. Why couldn't true conservatives and anarchists get together? These labels are all so ridiculous anyway. Conservative and liberal libertarians. The presumed polarization of America is manipulated. The corporate fat cats who own both parties and control the government are laughing their asses off that you and I are arguing with each other and considering ourselves polarized, when we agree on a broad range of the issues in American life, and we are both left out of the agenda of both political parties Republican and Republican Lite, which are both corporate owned and controlled. Family values -- who is against families? Who's anti-life? Who's for fiscal irresponsibility? Who admits to being for war? These are all just slogans and catch phrases the political manipulators use to rally support for policies that have nothing to do with the slogans and in most cases are diametrically opposite in effect. So take a look at a conservative look at Bush's Gravy Train of War.
  • A 67-year-old statistician "can't get over it" -- "Steven Freeman, a respected University of Pennsylvania professor, says the odds of the exit polls in the critical states of Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania all being so far off were about 662,000 to 1.

    March 7, 2005

  • Loathing and Dread -- A few quick notes before the dreaded Monday comes down ... I keep remembering that the Thousand Year Reich only lasted 12 years. Tyrannical fanatics tend to bite their own tails eventually. These people have overcome nearly every limitation, scorned every law of the human world, but there are larger laws that cannot be defied. There's a basic yin and yang principle, as stated simply in the Chinese Book of Changes that continued increase inevitably leads to decrease. This tendency to push always harder, arrogantly refusing to accept any authority over your own blind greed is inherently self destructive. It will keep pushing until it finally reaches a force it cannot overcome. The more they get away with, the more arrogant they become. They respect nothing and no one. Now this incident of killing the Italian secret service hero and shooting the journalist is sowing some deep problems for the administration. Of course the initial extreme American response is implicitly: Screw them! What can they do to us? That little third-rate country barely has an army! But even the Bush administration must realize that it can't continue to thwart the entire world at every juncture. So what is it with the U.S. forces in Iraq targeting journalists? The story up to this point is already pretty horrifying, and now this. But after the torture memos and the elevation of the author of the legal justification of torture to supreme law officer of America, what could be surprising? That the same forces like to kill journalists just to put out a message? Not to me. (For more on the story of the many incidents of murder of journalists in Iraq by American forces, see Truthout.)
  • Pushed to the Limits -- There are signs everywhere that the New Reich is bursting at the seams. Now we see Bush's CIA director admitting in public that he's overwhelmed by his job. According to Newsweek, Goss said, "The jobs that I'm being asked to do, the five hats that I wear, are too much for this mortal... I'm a little amazed at the workload." And he's apparently thrown by having death squad commander John Negroponte installed in a position of authority over him, a relationship he doesn't yet understand. Poor Porter! I think we'll see more and more Bush people just cracking as the system starts to break down. It seems inevitable.
  • In the Total Weirdness corner, what is this? "Republican media adviser found dead". The 42-year-old co-chairman of the Bush/Cheney Entertainment Task Force (Ugh! Doesn't that sound fun?) was found dead in Carrie Fisher's apartment. No known cause of death. Healthy guy. Just dropped dead.
  • Random Death -- A new book looks at the death of Paul Wellstone, another purely random violent death like the kind that so often cut off the lives of people who are troublesome to the military industrial complex. See American Assassination.

    [Note: put out a message against the occupation of Iraq since this comment was written...]

    March 13, 2005

    Things Change -- According to Norman Solomon, has dropped the war in Iraq as an issue for which it will mobilize its great popular strength. According to Solomon, although the organization built itself with an antiwar message, it's now dropped its antiwar efforts. "With a network of more than 3 million 'online activists,' the MoveOn leadership has decided against opposing the American occupation of Iraq. During the recent bloody months, none of MoveOn's action alerts have addressed what Americans can do to help get the U.S. military out of that country."

    You can read more about the rationale of the leaders of the organization, but they aren't arguing with Solomon's assertion. They're only explaining why.

    Guerrilla News Network editor Anthony Lappé, said, "I was recently invited to spend three days at a swanky Maryland resort to discuss the future of the progressive movement with an impressive group of lefty movers and shakers. Over the course of the conference, the only time I heard the word 'Iraq' was when I noted, that in case they hadn't noticed, we are at war and that maybe we should discuss what we were going to do about it. I was met with blank stares. Apart from a few recent grassroots efforts, the mainstream left has largely ignored the growing insurgency in Iraq. As GNN contributor Norman Solomon writes, nowhere is the left's abandonment of the antiwar movement more clear than in MoveOn's agenda. One MoveOner explained to me that weekend in Maryland, social security is their number one issue for 2005 because 'it's an issue we can win.' Iraq, he explained, is not a winner."

    This is a very sad development. The war in Iraq is the mother of all issues. What could bind one to a political movement if it made no issue of the war in Iraq? What other issue could create the passion and commitment to a group that was cool toward the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Sure, everything else the Bush administration is doing, like trying to destroy Social Security, giving ever greater control to the big money interests every day in its march toward a corporate totalitarian state needs to be opposed at every step. Every thing it does is lethal, destructive. But the war against Iraq is the mother of them all, it is the one central most criminal act of the lawless administration, and the evil from which all the others flow, and to which they return. For MoveOn to take such a position is baffling, and disheartening.

    Iraq is the central point of the U.S.'s self destruction morally, fiscally, strategically, in every way. Thousands of our young armed services people have been blinded, maimed, lost limbs, contracted radiation poisoning that will do its harm over years, suffered psychological trauma that may leave them as broken, emotionally and morally deformed people for the rest of their lives. Over 1,400 of them have been obliterated and the number continues to grow. Over 100,000 Iraqis have died. Their once highly civilized country has been reduced to a stone age, poisoned, broken, nearly uninhabitable land. All for a war waged on false pretenses.

    Billions and billions of dollars are washing down the drain of the Iraq debacle. Resources that could go to build and maintain our own country and our own people is instead going into destroying and suppressing Iraq in a convoluted scheme that ends up siphoning billions into the pockets of Bush allies like Halliburton and Bechtel.

    Iraq is the greatest moral disaster of American history. It's hard to compare it to other government crimes like the war in Vietnam, Nixon's secret war against Cambodia, Reagan/Bush's secret terrorist wars on El Salvador, Nixon and Kissinger's support of the military coup that turned democratic Chile into a bloody dictatorship. But the invasion of Iraq could well be the most flagrant violation of basic principles of justice and morality in U.S. history.

    The occupation of Iraq is the most catastrophic tear in the fabric of American society, the single issue that must be resolved if any positive outcome is to be expected in any of the other fields of battle. It doesn't mean you don't fight on any other fronts until the Iraq issue is resolved. But to abandon that cause while the republic hemorrhages is suicide. To give up on the fight against the illegal and unjustified occupation is to abandon the law itself, to degenerate into a lawless society. And that is the gradual transformation that is now taking place. American society is deteriorating from within. Its moral fabric is dissolving. Americans are left with no moral reference points. The only law that stands is the principle of corporate greed. Our society has lost its moral codes and they have been replaced by a thin set of mores dictated by the needs of corporate America. Don't think; don't feel; just be compliant. Do as you are directed. Don't ask questions. Just work, pay your taxes to support your masters, buy consumer goods.

    Every day that the administration "stays the course" on that wrong-headed, criminal policy is one more day of disaster, one day closer to the dissolution of the economic and spiritual strength of the U.S.

    Solomon quoted’s executive director, Eli Pariser as saying, “We believe that there are no good options in Iraq.” But that overlooks the fact that the administration is enmired there because it wants that oil and will not give up total control of it in order to negotiate an international solution to the mess.

    If the project were not so corrupt in the first place, founded on false pretenses and lies about "democracy" and "freedom" when it is obviously a move to seize resources in a strategic gambit for geopolitical power, it would be much easier to extricate US forces, pull them back from the line of fire and begin to allow the situation to cool. But as long as the Bush buddies insist on total control of the bonanza of moneymaking opportunities it has created by pulverizing Iraq, there is no way to enlist cooperation, turn it into an international quest for a solution to a catastrophe that never had to happen in the first place, but even now is perpetuated by greed and false policies. It is not an impossible situation if you remove the element of intractability of the U.S. corporate/government power bloc.

    So for me, for MoveOn to lose interest in the issue of the war in Iraq, and to contribute to an environment where ongoing wars of conquest and plunder become just a routine, an ongoing US policy that is pushed ever farther into the background, makes me also lose interest in MoveOn as a relevant enterprise. AARP is fighting against the destruction of Social Security. That's an important issue, surely, but MoveOn once distinguished itself as something quite a bit more compelling and visionary than AARP. MoveOn really meant something in a society that has become so dumbed down and deadened that few causes arouse any real passion.

    That is very sad. MoveOn has really moved on, into irrelevance.

  • On the Other Hand -- Other groups are renewing their struggles against the ongoing catastrophe. (See "Groups Preparing New Push Against Iraq War".) Just as the comfortable class reflected in MoveOn's move toward obliviousness gets comfortable with the Bush policy of neverending war, others who have been there and served and are now free to speak about what they have seen are joining the ranks of anti-war activists.

    March 16, 2005

    Gallup in Wonderland -- A Gallup Poll in USA Today shows that the number of Americans who are "dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time" jumped 4% to 56% last month, between February 21-24 and March 7-10. In two weeks. Why would that be? Too bad we don't have the Wall Street reporters here to tell us. They always have the answers. "The Dow fell sharply today on reports that unemployment went down..." Hmmmm. But why this? Why now? It's hard to imagine any American who was not already fed up ever being cognizant of much of anything else ever again. What could possibly have happened in late February that hadn't already happened thousands of times? What possibly could have had such a marked effect right at that moment? It's hard to contemplate. And here's something even more baffling -- George Bush's approval rating (Do you approve of the way he is handling his "job"?) is at 52%, unchanged from the last period two weeks before. Actually UP from February 7-10 when it hit its low at 49. It has gone up in the last month. Why? What on earth could have made anyone's approval of Bush in the last month go up? It seems like it would be more fruitful to look at the changing chemical contents of the water supply as to look to politics for an answer to that question. His disapproval actually went down a point, from 45 to 44. Why? Where do they get these numbers? Who are they talking to? Who are these 4% who say they have "no opinion"? Clairvoyants? Religious leaders? Catatonic patients? This country has truly slipped off its rocker.
  • Anti War Warriors -- The article "The New Face of Protest?" in The Nation paints a fascinating and hopeful picture of the Iraq veterans who are going to make themselves the front lines of the anti war movement in coming months. "When there are massive protests, we will be out front. We will say that you are doing everything you can to support the troops by demanding that this war is ended, and ended now, so that the troops are brought home and cared for when they return."
  • The Anti-Bush -- Chavez? In a fascinating strategy of defense against the Superpower, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who has survived vigorous and repeated efforts of the United States to oust him, is exercising diplomacy, creating alliances with others who are on the defensive against the US. (see Washington Post) The gutsy former paratrooper told Iran's President Mohammad Khatami in a public meeting in Venezuela: "Iran has every right . . . to develop atomic energy and to continue its research in that area. All over the world, there is a clamor for equality . . . and profound rejection of the imperialist desires of the U.S. government. Faced with the threat of the U.S. government against our brother people in Iran, count on us for all our support." The Post goes on to say, "Chavez is the most vocal and visible symbol of a rising tide of anti-American sentiment in Latin America. Leaders in the region are increasingly disillusioned because a decade or more of the Washington prescription -- democracy and free-market economics -- has failed to alleviate poverty and economic inequality." What is inevitable is that the hold will break. The US has declared war -- to greater and lesser degrees -- on virtually the whole world. To countries it has not actually attacked, it has still given a clear message that it will play a game of pure power and honor no one's rights in the face of that power. It's only natural that the crowd will eventually grow more bold in the face of the weakening bully. Chavez is evidence of a break in the line, a disruption of the US' field of power, which has declared itself to be absolute by its actions and no one has yet dared challenge the assertion. But as the US continues to squander all its resources on ill-conceived power plays, the rest of the world will eventually rise up and break through the domination. It's an inevitable result of the present flow of events. Is there something that could disrupt the current flow of events? Well, never write off any possibilities. Remember 9/11, the event that "changed everything" and the change was all according to the Bush/New World Order plan. Hmmm. Never underestimate them, or their capacity to continue to shatter the limits of whatever was previously deemed possible in the realm of outrage. But also, never underestimate the limits of the possible outside of the will of the neocons and the neworderites. Life itself will never cease producing surprises.
  • Broken Down -- Here's another case of someone who dared to write something negative about Bush and then makes a public apology, obviously reduced to terror. Check out this quote: "My decision to release a portion of the tapes has come at a terrible price for my family and has deeply hurt many others. I was foolish and wrong to tape-record Mr. Bush without his permission. I was wrong to play any part of the tapes for my publisher, regardless of the circumstances... I apologized to the president before the story appeared and again afterward. He has been typically patient, in spite of the personal hurt." AFP. It reads like a re-telling of the story of The John Dilulio Affair. If you are the most powerful man in the world, how many ways are there to break someone?
  • Good Point -- Robert Parry on Consortiumnews: "Some readers have asked why I started my book about the rise of the Bush dynasty with a chapter set between the two George Bush presidencies, with Bill Clinton explaining why he didn’t pursue investigations of his predecessor’s Cold War crimes. The short answer is that I saw that moment as pivotal to understanding today’s political crisis. The failure of the Clinton Democrats to fight for an honest record of the Cold War – and to expose George H.W. Bush’s complicity in wrongdoing – opened the door for George W. Bush to enter the White House in 2001. If key documents had been declassified about just a few scandals, such as the Iraqgate arming of Saddam Hussein and the Iran-Contra Affair, that door almost certainly would have been shut for good." This is a fascinating article on "Beating Bush at 'Information War'".

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